Author Topic: Recommend a Soldering Iron Under 75 Bucks  (Read 283 times)

Offline James Edward

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Recommend a Soldering Iron Under 75 Bucks
« on: April 02, 2021, 04:22:02 PM »
I NEED to start soldering again. It’s been 40 years- solder has changed, I haven’t a clue. I’d like a straightforward piece that works well. No bells and whistles- suggestions appreciated. I saw one that was recommended on ASR, but it was a ‘hold for two seconds, release, then press the up button to change temp, etc., etc.’. I want something that holds a temp and maybe? has simple adjustments for the new world of lead-free solder. Thanks.
I’d like to attempt an amp kit at some time in the future, so I figure practice might make some sense...
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Offline Triode Pete

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Re: Recommend a Soldering Iron Under 75 Bucks
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2021, 06:19:13 PM »
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Offline James Edward

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Re: Recommend a Soldering Iron Under 75 Bucks
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2021, 05:45:48 AM »
Aisle 22 Bay 10- on my way! Thanks Pete.
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Offline tmazz

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Re: Recommend a Soldering Iron Under 75 Bucks
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2021, 10:34:34 AM »
Good solid unit. I have same one and it has worked like a champ for over 30 years.

This one works great & is a quality item...

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Weller-5-Watt-to-40-Watt-Soldering-Station-WLC100/100130478?source=shoppingads&locale=en-US



Go sling some solder!

Pete
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Offline James Edward

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Re: Recommend a Soldering Iron Under 75 Bucks
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2021, 02:33:21 PM »
I’m starting with the easy things first. I just practice soldered ~ 20 pieces of solid core wire from some Cat6 cable that I twisted together. I imagine stranded wire is much more difficult- heating it to melt the solder has to have a delicate/deft touch for sure.
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Offline tmazz

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Re: Recommend a Soldering Iron Under 75 Bucks
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2021, 03:16:39 PM »
I’m starting with the easy things first. I just practice soldered ~ 20 pieces of solid core wire from some Cat6 cable that I twisted together. I imagine stranded wire is much more difficult- heating it to melt the solder has to have a delicate/deft touch for sure.

The key is you have heat the to the point that the wire itself is melting the solder, not the iron directly.

With thin gauge wire it can be a very fine line between getting the wire hot enough to avoid a cold solder joint and getting it too hot and damaging the insulation.

Like everything else, it gets easier with practice
Remember, it's all about the music........

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Offline malloy

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Re: Recommend a Soldering Iron Under 75 Bucks
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2021, 10:53:48 PM »
Good solid unit. I have same one and it has worked like a champ for over 30 years.

This one works great & is a quality item...

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Weller-5-Watt-to-40-Watt-Soldering-Station-WLC100/100130478?source=shoppingads&locale=en-US



Go sling some solder!

Pete

I have the exact same unit bought from Fry's (seems so long ago). I've only had to buy a smaller tip for smaller, more precise jobs. Very reliable.

Paul

Online Nick B

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Re: Recommend a Soldering Iron Under 75 Bucks
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2021, 08:33:31 AM »
Good solid unit. I have same one and it has worked like a champ for over 30 years.

This one works great & is a quality item...

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Weller-5-Watt-to-40-Watt-Soldering-Station-WLC100/100130478?source=shoppingads&locale=en-US



Go sling some solder!

Pete

I have the exact same unit bought from Fry's (seems so long ago). I've only had to buy a smaller tip for smaller, more precise jobs. Very reliable.

Paul

Paul,
I had forgotten all about Fry’s. A good place for “stuff” in the days when I was in Los Angeles...nearly 20 years ago now
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Offline malloy

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Re: Recommend a Soldering Iron Under 75 Bucks
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2021, 09:39:39 PM »

I have the exact same unit bought from Fry's (seems so long ago). I've only had to buy a smaller tip for smaller, more precise jobs. Very reliable.

Paul,
I had forgotten all about Fry’s. A good place for “stuff” in the days when I was in Los Angeles...nearly 20 years ago now
Nick

The local Fry's was where I bought the Andrew Jones Pioneer bookshelf that I have as a backup speaker. Very sad to see brick and mortar stores go.

Paul

Offline Response Audio

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Re: Recommend a Soldering Iron Under 75 Bucks
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2021, 08:29:09 AM »
There are a lot of good soldering irons/stations out there. My only advice is to get a unit with good reviews and affordable replacement tips. I have several very good soldering stations, desoldering stations, SMD station and several irons. Since i solder every day and irons are on 5-6 hours at a time, it can burn out irons quickly. For this reason I buy cheap irons from Parts Express.  They last me about 8 months to a year. I would rather burn up a $10 iron every year or so than burn out a $100 station.
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Online Nick B

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Re: Recommend a Soldering Iron Under 75 Bucks
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2021, 08:51:06 AM »
There are a lot of good soldering irons/stations out there. My only advice is to get a unit with good reviews and affordable replacement tips. I have several very good soldering stations, desoldering stations, SMD station and several irons. Since i solder every day and irons are on 5-6 hours at a time, it can burn out irons quickly. For this reason I buy cheap irons from Parts Express.  They last me about 8 months to a year. I would rather burn up a $10 iron every year or so than burn out a $100 station.

That’s a lot of soldering.... I was just on the Parts Express website, so which one do you use?
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Offline HAL

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Re: Recommend a Soldering Iron Under 75 Bucks
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2021, 01:38:09 PM »
Still using my '70s era Weller soldering irons that are 7 watts and 40watts and going strong.  Here is the latest line:

https://www.weller-tools.com/consumer/USA/us/Weller+Consumer/Soldering+Irons

I also have a Tech temperature controlled soldering station I bought from Radio Shack decades ago and still working well.

Still using Radio Shack Eutectic 2% solder for my work.  The new EU style no lead solder does not work well even with silver content for me.

Good luck with your decision.

Offline James Edward

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Re: Recommend a Soldering Iron Under 75 Bucks
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2021, 03:35:03 PM »
True confessions- I made some speakers back when I was 12-14, and dinosaurs roamed the earth. No one ever taught me, YouTube didn’t exist, and I winged it. Boy was I wrong. I was basically just melting and dripping the solder in place. Cold solder joint anyone? I even picked up some lingo! Fast forward to today- I’m using the Weller and just practicing, with much better results if memory serves... I appreciate the input, and maybe a kit is in my future...
Jim
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